The Story of Sunita Krishnan: An example of never giving up to injustice

It was in 1996 in Hyderabad when  Sunita Krishnan planted the seed of a platform that rescues trafficked women from brothels and educates their children. The seed she planted came to be known as Prajwala NGO. However, much before 1996, the journey of this renowned social worker and a prodigy started. This is the story of Krishnan and her determination, strength and kindness!

Born in 1972, she had the streak of kindness in her since a young age.  She was not very old when she thought of helping the poor children of a village near home city. So she went to college to become a social worker. As she was organizing the village to teach the children once, she was being criticized for being a woman and “interfering” in the daily business of men and the village.

This male dominance influenced a gang of eight men who gangraped her and beat her so badly that she got partially deaf in one ear. She has had to deal with all that and more. Though violated, she refused to be broken and she gave birth to an institution that assists trafficked women and girls to find a shelter.

This definitely requires more courage and boldness since this Indian society always presses women, isolates and stigmatizes survivors of sexual assault. Today, Sunitha is a leading advocate for the fight against sex trafficking. 

Krishnan has sparked India’s anti-trafficking movement by coordinating government, corporations and NGOs into the cause.

For Krishnan, kindness functions through her NGO Prajwala, which has helped many survivors of trafficking and exploitation have a new life. Her efforts and noteworthy work has also been applauded at various points of time. In 2016, she was awarded  by the Government of India with Padma Shri in the field of social work.

She co-founded Prajwala(meaning “eternal flame”) with Brother Jose Vetticatil. Today, Prajwala runs 17 schools throughout Hyderabad for 5,000 children and has rescued more than 2,500 women from prostitution, 1,500 of whom Krishnan personally liberated. At its Asha Niketan center, Prajwala helps young victims prepare for a self-sufficient future.

For the last 18 years, she has worked tirelessly through Prajwala to bring the concerns of human trafficking and exploitation to the forefront. Prajwala also works on educating and rehabilitating the children of sex workers across regions. 

She dedicated her life after that to being an activist and to fight against the same thing that happened to her. In an interview she said,

“What affected me more was the way society treated me, the way people looked at me. Nobody questioned why those guys did it. They questioned why I went there, why my parents gave me freedom. And I realized that what happened to me was a one-time thing. But for many people it was a daily thing.”


As she looks back at her journey of spreading kindness and awareness through strength, she reminisces:

“Society makes you feel cheap. I chose not to feel like a victim. I am not a victim. I am a survivor. I speak about it with a lot of pride, because I am proud of what I have become today. I have not made a mistake. I don’t want my face to be blurred. I am not to be ashamed of. The guys that have done it should be hiding their faces and they should be blurring their faces.

— Sunitha Krishnan


Her journey and story of becoming a part of the kindness revolution has been through a lot of struggle and challenges from patriarchal structures, but Krishnan continues to expand the horizons of her advocacy and efforts towards trafficking, children education and women empowerment. 

Here’s celebrating Sunita Krishnan and her determination, dedication and efforts to provide the needy  with a dignified life!

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